How Would the Modern World Look Without the Internet?
Updated on January 3, 2022 | by James Stone
It can be unfathomable to live in a world without the internet now. But if you’re fascinated by thought experiments, it can be interesting to explore. If the present world never knew what the internet was, the world would be different. We would have different communication means, and social media wouldn’t have even existed. So, imagining a world without the internet is open to so many possibilities and what-ifs.
Many ISPs and plans like Spectrum Deals have made the internet more accessible than ever before. In today’s time, more than 50% of the world’s population are active internet users. Most people check their phones constantly throughout the day. Thus, we might even downplay the influence of the internet on our lives.
What Would a World Without the Internet Look Like?
A lot would change if we didn’t have the internet. It could affect almost everything we do and alter our daily routines. Here are some things we would have to do differently:
Communication and Social Life
One of the most evident changes might be how we communicate. Online messaging apps have made communication almost instantaneous. So, we expect to get instant replies from people no matter where we are. Without the internet, these wouldn’t exist. Moreover, text messages and video calls would also be nonexistent. Snail mail, fax, and telegram machines might be our only options in an internet-free world.
The internet has revolutionized how we market our products to potential customers. Targeted marketing and detailed insights on social media are prevalent in the advertising world. But without the internet, we won’t be able to do any of this. As a result, we would stick to conventional marketing methods like flyers and billboards. It could also be difficult to gain the target audience’s attention without the available online tools.
News and Updates
Currently, news travels with lightning speed because of social media. The minute something worthwhile happens, we see it everywhere online. The word ‘viral’ has an altogether different meaning in terms of the internet and social media. So, updates about current affairs wouldn’t reach us the same way without the internet. We might have to wait for days before hearing anything. Moreover, it could be easy for propagandist movements to hide or alter facts. As word would not go out instantly. Most updates would reach through TV, radio, newspapers, or word-of-mouth.
Much of the progress in the healthcare sector could reverse without the internet. Doctors rely on software and online means to transfer patient records. Moreover, telehealth is also popular and convenient. But without the internet, we would probably have to make more trips to the doctor. Additionally, we won’t have any reliable information available online. Websites like WebMD or Medline Plus would simply not exist. So, consulting a doctor could be the norm even for minor discomforts.
The internet has also had a major impact on how we shop. Online shopping or e-commerce became even more popular during the pandemic. In such times, most people had to buy groceries online too. But imagine a world without the internet and online shopping. So, for every small thing you want, you’d have to make a trip to the store. Moreover, e-commerce has also made the world a global marketplace. So, we would also have limited access to foreign goods. Internet in the post-pandemic era has been revolutionalized.
One of the most recent changes brought on by the internet is remote work opportunities. The world is now one big market, and international hirings are also common. This is because many people can work from home with flexible timings. So, without the internet, we would have to stick to the conventional 9-5. As everyone would have to come onsite, most offices would only hire local people. As a result, people living in remote areas would have much lesser opportunities. So, we could see an influx of migrants to larger metro cities.
Benefits of an Internet-Free Life
Life may not be as miserable as we think without the internet. It could even do wonders for our interpersonal skills and sleeping schedules. If all meetings have to be face-to-face, interactions could be more personal. Moreover, we might be able to live freely without worrying about social media notifications all the time. Additionally, we could take more time for ourselves. The absence of screens would mean lesser blue light for our eyes. And most of us would be able to sleep better.
So, it is not all doom and gloom, and life might be different than what we now know. As there would be no social media, we might have more private lives. Millennials who spend most of their time online could interact with their family more. Moreover, they won’t get distracted or influenced by other people. They would even draw fewer comparisons. As a result, we could see a much more focused and empathetic younger generation.